Duke Basketball: Blue Devils continue to shatter record books in NBA Draft

NBA commissioner Adam Silver and Duke basketball head coach Mike Krzyzewski (Photo by Cindy Ord/Getty Images)
NBA commissioner Adam Silver and Duke basketball head coach Mike Krzyzewski (Photo by Cindy Ord/Getty Images) /

The NBA Draft is now history and the Duke Basketball program continued to make history as Mike Krzyzewski continues to churn out elite NBA talent.

With the 2019 NBA in the rearview mirror, the Duke Basketball program capped off another successful year with three Top-10 picks to add to its long standing history in getting players to the next level.

Prior to Thursday night, Duke had 14 Top-10 picks since 2000 and that number grew with Zion Williamson going No. 1 overall, R.J. Barrett being selected at No. 3, and Cam Reddish falling to No. 10.

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The Blue Devils extended its lead over the Kentucky Wildcats by four, as the Cats didn’t have a Top-10 selection this year and remain at 13 Top-10 picks since 2000.

Mike Krzyzewski and his Duke program also extended its lead over Kentucky in terms of having lottery selections by coach and program as Coach K and Duke has now produced 28 lottery picks while Kentucky has come 26 lottery picks and John Calipari has 25.

According to DukeMBB Stats, this year was the sixth consecutive season that Duke has had a player selected in the top three in the NBA Draft, the longest streak by a school all-time.

Coach K has also produced 41 First Round picks, which is the most all time, and he has coached 14 Top-3 picks, which is also  the most all time.

UCLA held the previous record of four straight seasons between 1974 and 1977.

The streak started with Jabari Parker (No. 2) in 2014, followed by Jahlil Okafor (No. 3) in 2015, Brandon Ingram (No. 2) in 2016, Jayson Tatum (No. 3) in 2017, Marvin Bagley III (No. 3) in 2018, and ending with Zion Williamson (No. 1) and R.J. Barrett (No. 3) this year.

With Williamson and Barrett going in the Top-3 in the draft, it was the second time in program history that two Blue Devils were selected in the first three picks since Mike Dunleavy (No. 2) and Jay Williams (No. 3) in the 2002 NBA Draft.

Duke is the only school to accomplish this feat twice in the common draft era.

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Finally, once again with three players being selected in the Top-10, Duke is the first program since the Florida Gators in 2007, to have three selections within the first ten picks.

Williamson, Barrett, and Reddish join Al Horford (No. 3), Corey Brewer (No. 7), and Joakim Noah (No. 9).